Do home solar panels make sense in Chico, California?
The median price of a 6 kilowatt home solar system in Chico is about
That 6 kW system would generate about
worth of electricity every year.
In 2019, you can qualify for a 30% federal tax credit.
In California, there are additional solar rebates available.
There are at least
20,813 homes in Buffalo with solar panels.
Table of Contents:
How much do solar panels cost in Chico, CA?
The average cost per watt of residential solar in California is $4/watt. For comparison, the national average is $3.70/watt.
Cost per watt is the total installed cost of a system, including taxes, divided by the size of the system in watts (DC). It includes the cost of hardware plus installation costs. Cost per watt is always the gross cost, before incentives. This means, at a minimum, you can take 30% off the price of the system in 2019 because of federal tax incentives.
The cost of a solar panel system for your house in Chico will depend on how much electricity you want to generate, which affects the size of the system you’ll need. The following is an example price estimate for a home solar panel system in Chico, with an electricity generation estimate based on the local climate and the following assumptions:
• 554 kWh is the amount of electricity that the average California home uses every month.
• 4.04 kilowatts is the size of the system you’ll need to generate 100% of this electricity from solar panels.
• 10 to 16 panels is what that translates to (depending on panel efficiency, which commonly ranges from 260 watts to 400 watts)
• Panels oriented due south and mounted on a shade-free roof at a 30° angle.
|Gross system price||$15,759||This is the price of your system plus taxes but before incentives, based on an average cost of solar in your state of $4 per watt.|
|Federal tax credit of 30%||$4,728||The most important solar incentive in the nation, the federal solar tax credit, gives homeowners 30% off the cost of their system in 2019. It drops to 26% next year. Read more|
|Net system price:||$11,031|
This estimate is based on averages but your home, of course, may be different. For a personalized estimate, grab a copy of your utility bill and use our calculator to plug in the numbers for your home.
Can you save money with solar panels in Chico, CA?
Every year, that hypothetical Chico home solar system described above would produce about $1,807 worth of electricity. This is based on the California state average price of electricity of $0.18/kWh and the average local climate.
But that’s just a home with average electricity usage. You might need more or fewer solar panels, depending on how much electricity you want to generate. Also, shade matters a lot. If you have trees or buildings throwing shadows on your roof, that could reduce your solar production by a lot.
Houses in Chico with solar panels
According to our data from various local agencies, there are at least 3,707 homes in Chico that have solar panels installed. This means a lot of your neighbors have looked into solar and decided that it’s a smart choice for them. If you add up the total generating capacity of these solar panel systems, you get a total of 24,385 kilowatts of solar electricity that is being sent into your local electricity grid.
If you’re trying to decide if solar is right for you, this is good news. Having a lot of solar homes means that you will have more local contractors to choose from. You can also feel more confident about going solar, because many of your neighbors in Chico have already decided that solar is a smart choice for them.
Chico solar energy potential
To make a fair comparison of how much sunlight different cities get, we use a measurement called Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI). It takes into account the position of the sun in the sky throughout the year, cloud cover, airborne particulates, precipitation, and other climate variables.
The DNI for Chico is 6.29, which means that it has excellent solar potential.
In Chico, you’ll generate a lot of solar electricity throughout the year, which helps to shorten the amount of time is takes for a solar panel system to pay for itself.
In the continental United States, DNI ranges from about 3.0 to 8.5 kWh/m2/day. In the most northern parts of Alaska, the DNI reaches a low of 0.5.
A higher DNI means more sunshine and more electricity generation by
solar panels, but solar can be viable even with a lower DNI. For example, Germany has widespread solar PV, but a DNI of only about 2.5.
This DNI data comes from GEOS geostationary
satellite data and
NREL climate models.
In some climates, you’ll see a big difference in sunlight and solar electricity generation from summer to winter.
These charts show you what to expect in Chico.
Energy by Month (DNI)
The graph below estimates how much a 6 kilowatt south-facing solar panel system would generate in Chico.
Generation by Month (kWh)
In Chico, the electricity production from solar panels will vary by a fair amount seasonally. In an average year, your power generation will be 219% higher in the peak month compared to the lowest production month in winter. This is about average for the United States. It means that you should expect to use some grid electricity in the winter, and send excess solar electricity to the grid in the summer.
Chico, CA solar companies
This is a list of solar home installations we know about within the city limits
of Chico, CA.
# of homes refers to the number of installations by the installer in the Chico area that we have a record of. It’s possible that the installer has done more installations in the local area.
Total kW installed is the cumulative solar generation capacity of all the residential installations by the installer in Chico.
Year of the most recent install is the most recent record of work done by the installer in Chico. This lets you know if the company is active in the area, or hasn’t done work in some time (or even gone out of business).
|Installer||# of homes||Total kW installed||Year of most recent install|
|A ALL AMERICAM REMODELING||1||2||2017|
|A5 STARR ENERGY||1||7||2014|
|ADVANCEDSOLAR HYDRO WIND POWER||1||2||2001|
|ALLDRIN ENTERPRISE ENERGY ALTERNATIVE||3||10||2007|
|ASOLIA NEW ENERGY||4||17||2018|
|BAUMAN ELECTRIC COMPANY||2||14||2012|
|BB HARVEY CONSTRUCTION||1||7||2010|
|BEYOND OIL SOLAR||1||2||2005|
|BRIGHT PLANET SOLAR||1||4||2018|
|BRIGHT SOLAR CAPITAL||1||12||2016|
|CAPITAL CITY SOLAR||1||4||2008|
|CARRIERE DESIGN BUILD||1||13||2017|
|CHICO SOLAR WORK||8||67||2018|
|CLMATE ENERGY SOLUTION||1||2||2015|
|DANIEL DAILEY CONSTRUCTION||1||5||2017|
|DAVE BECK ELECTRIC||1||8||2007|
|DEADMOND BROTHER CONSTRUCTION||1||3||2016|
|EARTH GROUND CONSTR||1||3||2018|
|EARTH GROUND CONSTRUCTION||1||5||2015|
|EFFCIENT ENERGY CONCEPT||16||124||2018|
|EFFICIENT ENERGY CONSULTANT||1||11||2018|
|ENEGY SAVING PRO||2||15||2018|
|EPIC HOME SOLAR||1||5||2016|
|ESSEX HEATING AIR||1||7||2018|
|GREEN LOTU CONSTRUCTION||1||3||2007|
|HOME STEAD HEATING AIR CONDITIONING CON||2||15||2017|
|HOME STEAD HEATING AIR CONSTRUCTION S||1||8||2017|
|HOOKED ON SOLAR||12||82||2018|
|INTER IOR INNOVATION||1||11||2015|
|IRA SMITH CONSTRUCTION||1||3||2016|
|K2 DEVELOPMENT COMPANY||1||7||2010|
|LA RRY PATRICK KNADLER||1||6||2012|
|LIGHT IT UP ELECTRIC||14||69||2015|
|LIGHT IT UP SOLAR||41||237||2018|
|MARK BALKEN CONSTRUCTION||1||6||2015|
|MATT WEBB CONSTRUCTION||1||6||2016|
|MCCLELLAND AIR CONDITIONING||1||4||2018|
|MICHAEL GALLI DESIGN USE E||2||14||2005|
|OAK TREE CONSTRUCTION||1||6||2010|
|OUR SOLAR HOME||1||13||2018|
|PEREIRA BUILDING INDUSTRY||1||7||2018|
|PERFECTION POOL SPA||1||5||2012|
|PHOENIX ENERGY FULFILLMENT||1||5||2018|
|PLAN IGT SOLAR||4||15||2008|
|POWER INDEPENDENCE ELECTRIC THRU HOME DEPOT||1||9||2004|
|PREMIER ELECTRIC A JONE GROUP||1||8||2016|
|PREMIER POWER RENEWABLE ENERGY||1||12||2008|
|QUALITY FIRSI HOME IMPROVEMENT||1||1||2011|
|READY MADE RESOURCE||1||2||2002|
|REED FRANCI ELECTRIC||1||7||2017|
|RITCHY BROTHER CONSTRUCTION||1||7||2018|
|ROBIN TRENDA GENERAL CONTRACTING||1||8||2011|
|SHAMEE ELECTRIC COMPANY||1||5||2001|
|SOLAR UNITED NETWORK||41||249||2018|
|SOUTH AM ASSOCIATE||1||3||2018|
|SPECTRUM ENERGY DEVELOPMENT||1||192||2017|
|ST CLAIR CONSTRUCTION||5||30||2008|
|STORNETTA BROTHER CONSTRUCTION||12||77||2016|
|SUN FINITY SOLAR CA||4||32||2018|
|SUN LINE ENERGY||3||12||2017|
|SUN NY ENERGY||2||17||2018|
|SUNRISE SOLAR ROOFING||1||9||2017|
|SUNTIME ENERGY BUILDER||2||9||2017|
|SYNTROL PLUMBING HEATING AIR||5||25||2016|
|THE SOLAE QUOTE||1||6||2017|
|TRUE GREEN ELECTRIC||1||6||2018|
|UNITED SUN ENERGY||90||766||2018|
|URBAN DESIGN RENOVATION CONSTRUCTION||157||1,154||2018|
|VELOCITY SOLAR POWER||4||32||2018|
|VILLAGE POWER DESIGN||1||6||2006|
|WEST VALLEYSOLAR ELECTRIC||1||7||2016|
|WILILAM LIFETIME BUILDER||1||5||2013|
|WING SOLAR E WOOD ENERGY||13||110||2017|
|YOUR ENERGY SOURCE||5||23||2017|
Solar panel lease companies in Chico
If you’re thinking about going with a solar lease or PPA, you should first read our guide to solar financing to make sure that you understand the pros and cons of a lease or PPA versus purchasing a system outright. In most cases, you will come out on top by buying your solar panels, even if that means taking out a loan.
That said, leases/PPAs continue to be popular, and they can be a good choice in some cases. There are several national solar installers that offer leases/PPAs, but not all of them operate in every state. Here’s a breakdown of some of the major solar installers that offer these types of contracts, and whether they operate in your state:
|Company||Operates in California ?|
Looking for solar panel cleaning companies in Chico?
If you’re trying to find a local company that specializes in cleaning solar panels, you should know that it’s probably not worth the cost.
Trying to get the maximum number of watts out of your solar array by keeping your panels squeaky clean isn’t worth it if you’re paying $100 or more per visit from a cleaning company.
Instead, just let the rain keep your solar panels clean. Rain will do a good enough job for free.
If you live in a dry and dusty area or frequently find bird poop or leaves on your panels, invest in some inexpensive equipment to take care of cleaning yourself. Read our guide to solar panel maintenance, which includes tips on solar panel cleaning and a some recommended cleaning equipment.
Contact solar companies in Chico
Want to work with one of these companies? We screen companies to make sure that you work with qualified installers. Use our service to get multiple quotes from quality Chico solar contractors.
Average California electricity prices
The average price of residential electricity in California is 18.31 cents per kilowatt hour, while the average price across the nation is 13.34 cents per kWh.
In other words, you’re paying 37% more for electricity than the average American, making your cost of electricity fairly expensive compared to the nation.
You’re probably not happy about that, so it makes sense to consider going solar.
Regardless of what your electricity prices are, by adding solar panels to your house and generating your own electricity, you’re locking in your cost of electricity for as long as your system is working, which will protect you from future rate increases by your utility. Given that many panels come with 25 year warranties, this is an investment that can last a long time.
Keep in mind that the price of electricity varies by utility, sometimes by a lot. The table below lists the average price of electricity for utilities in California state. For current rates, check with your utility.
|Company||# Customers||Avg Price (¢/kWh)|
|Aha Macav Power Service||89||8.18|
|Anza Electric Coop Inc||4,338||17.93|
|Bear Valley Electric Service||22,470||27.71|
|City of Alameda||30,811||18.07|
|City of Anaheim - (CA)||111,347||16.52|
|City & County of San Francisco||238||17.00|
|City of Azusa||14,667||13.33|
|City of Banning - (CA)||10,985||20.18|
|City of Burbank Water and Power||46,215||16.51|
|City of Colton - (CA)||16,661||16.16|
|City of Corona - (CA)||986||15.59|
|City of Glendale - (CA)||74,783||19.96|
|City of Healdsburg - (CA)||4,823||17.13|
|City of Lodi - (CA)||21,940||17.48|
|City of Moreno Valley - (CA)||5,576||20.03|
|City of Lompoc - (CA)||13,165||15.55|
|City of Palo Alto - (CA)||25,579||14.28|
|City of Pasadena - (CA)||55,763||18.23|
|City of Redding - (CA)||37,878||16.76|
|City of Riverside - (CA)||97,347||16.12|
|City of Roseville - (CA)||52,181||15.54|
|City of Santa Clara - (CA)||46,859||12.27|
|City of Shasta Lake - (CA)||4,166||17.36|
|City of Ukiah - (CA)||6,449||13.62|
|City of Vernon||73||11.85|
|Imperial Irrigation District||132,632||12.93|
|Lassen Municipal Utility District||9,032||15.70|
|Los Angeles Department of Water & Power||1,329,968||16.65|
|Merced Irrigation District||7,418||16.02|
|Modesto Irrigation District||97,935||17.81|
|Pacific Gas & Electric Co.||3,998,187||21.18|
|Sacramento Municipal Util Dist||552,678||14.06|
|San Diego Gas & Electric Co||1,280,264||22.09|
|Southern California Edison Co||4,362,150||16.60|
|Pittsburg Power Company||348||22.60|
|Plumas-Sierra Rural Elec Coop||6,606||18.58|
|Surprise Valley Electrification||2,825||8.79|
|Truckee Donner P U D||12,237||15.60|
|Turlock Irrigation District||73,393||16.01|
|Valley Electric Assn, Inc||12||13.11|
Historical California electricity prices, 2008 to 2017
The average price of residential electricity in California, over the past ten
15.86 cents per
This is 31% more than than the US average price of 12.07 cents per kWh. Because your state historically has had high electricity prices, there’s a good chance that prices will continue to be high in the future. This is a good argument for going solar.
Why is this important to know? Depending on the size of your system, owning
solar reduces or eliminates the effect of electricity price increases.
Historical California electricity prices (cents per kilowatt hour)
By looking at the trend in electricity prices over the past decade, you can get a better idea of whether high or low prices in your state are a recent change, or part of a long term trend. Because solar panels last a really long time (most come with 25 year power warranties), going solar protects you from future changes in electricity price. Basically, by paying for a system now, you can lock in your cost of electricity for two or even three decades.
Environmental report for California electricity
Depending on the type of fuel they use, power plants produce differing amounts of air pollution. This is measured as units of pollution per megawatt hour (mWh) of electricity.
For every mWh of electricity generated, California power plants produce on average:
- 216 kilograms of CO2, which is 53% less than the US average of
- 7 grams of SO2, which is 98% less than the US average of 411 g.
- 332 grams of NOx, which is 11% less than the US average of
In the power generation estimate listed above, The Solar Nerd calculator determined that an unshaded, south-facing 6 kilowatt PV system would generate about 9,871 kWh in an average year.
This means that putting a 6 kW solar panel system on your house would prevent 2,132 kilograms of CO2, 69 grams of SO2, and 3,277 grams of NOx from being emitted into the atmosphere.
The carbon offset of these solar panels would be about equivalent to planting 124 trees every year! (One deciduous tree left to grow for 10 years offsets 17.2 kg of CO2, according to the EPA.)
CA state average electricity emissions
CO2 is carbon dioxide and is a primary greenhouse gas.
SO2 is sulphur dioxide. It
human respiratory system and contributes to acid rain.
NOx refers to nitrogen
contribute to smog, acid rain, and lung damage.
Calculate your home solar incentives for Chico
Use our calculator to determine the financial payback
of a home solar systemand to get a
solar performance estimate customized to your home, including federal, state, and local incentives.
Ready to go solar in Chico?
Use our free service to find qualified solar contractors and get multiple quotes on a solar panel installation in Buffalo.Home solar quotes in Chico
This report was prepared with
data from the good people
National Renewable Energy Laboratory Data, the US Energy Information Administration, and the
Environmental Protection Agency.